"But I need the Mac to find Cyprus on a map!"

Owen Thomas · 11/11/08 07:00PM

John Hodgman, the comedian and author better known for his role as "PC" in Apple ads, pretends to tussle with Brittany Bohnet. Bohnet, who worked for Apple as an on-campus marketing rep and now markets Google Maps, is better known for her appearance in the now-infamous Cyprus video. Note Hodgman's strangely girlish hands, which are barely bigger than Bohnet's. Can you put those facts together and come up with a better caption? The best will become the post's new headline. Yesterday's winner: actionhero11, for "The new free meal program at the Googleplex." (Photo via Brittany Bohnet's Tumblr)

Facebooker Dave Morin turns 28, but fails to destroy Internet

Owen Thomas · 10/15/08 04:00AM

When I got an unauthorized invite, via a tipster, to Dave Morin's birthday party Tuesday night, I knew I had to crash — if only to find out what he and his friends were thinking. Morin, you see, is a Facebook employee and a prime instigator of Camp Cyprus, the gang of Internet instigators whose shockingly fun video scandalized a shaken Silicon Valley. What's with these Web kids? First they go to Cyprus and destroy the entire economy by filming themselves cavorting at a rich friend's dad's vacation house on the Mediterranean. The horror! But then, what's worse, they return to the United States, unashamed, and continue spending money and enjoying themselves! All this economic activity cannot end well!Can you imagine, kids in their twenties having a good time? This must end! Didn't they get Sequoia's memo? Morin, Facebook's official speaker-to-geeks, turned 28 and rented a downtown art gallery Tuesday night to celebrate. After I tracked down Morin, I gave him a salami I'd picked up at VC firm Alsop Louie's party earlier that night. (It was a heartfelt regifting.) Besides Morin, I identified several other members of Camp Cyprus:

It's the end of Web 2.0 as we know it

Owen Thomas · 10/12/08 06:00PM

The infamous Camp Cyprus 20 are trickling back home. And they feel fine. The twentysomethings of Camp Cyprus work at companies like Google, Facebook, and, all of which make a business of moving our lives online. They gathered at the Cyprus vacation home of Wall Street banker Bob Lessin, overlooking the wine-dark Mediterranean, at the invitation of his startup-founder son, Sam, for a vacation. And in this hyperconnected age, they must surely be aware that a lip-synching video they made of their trip was an Internet sensation, marking the end of an era. If they feel any shame for popping the Web 2.0 bubble, they are not blogging, Tumblring, Twittering, or FriendFeeding it. The only concession to embarrassment over the incident was making the video private — and of course, it promptly resurfaced on YouTube and elsewhere. Sam Lessin, in public, is a privacy freak; privacy is the sales pitch for his staggeringly unpopular blogging and file-sharing startup, But he invited a bunch of known oversharers — Facebookers Dave Morin and Meagan Marks, Google Maps marketer Brittany Bohnet, and the like — to his dad's vacation home, permitted the filming of the video, and starred in it himself. I doubt he cared very much that it became an Internet sensation. No, I suspect that this takedown had little to do with Web 2.0, and everything to do with Wall Street. Even before the mortgage bubble popped, launching the credit crisis, being showy with wealth just wasn't done in the circles Bob Lessin circulates in. Showing off your dad's sweet pad only seems like a good idea if you're a Harvard legacy in your early 20s. So is this the end of Web 2.0? Depends on what you mean by "Web 2.0." No one can quite agree. User-generated content? It's cheaper than the professionally generated kind; in recessionary times, it seems like it's here to stay. Likewise the fad for creating programmable interfaces for websites; getting coders to volunteer their time to make your product better sure sounds better than hiring them. No, the real test is whether this millennial generation will continue posting videos when they don't have splashy trips to celebrate. Will they continue updating friends with every change in their status, when the news isn't that they've gotten hired, launched a company, bought something expensive? When their buddies can't find work, when their startups run out of money, when they start leaving town en masse, what will they do? Promise to stay Facebook friends?

On Sequoia's firing line

Owen Thomas · 10/09/08 06:00PM

What plots are the members of "Camp Cyprus," a group of young webheads, cooking up? Perhaps we'll read about them in a Wall Street Journal front-page A-hed, since reporter Jessica Vascellaro was on the scene, along with Wall Street-scion boyfriend Sam Lessin, the CEO of Can you think of a better caption? Leave it in the comments; the best one will become the new headline of the post. Yesterday's winner: TheChris2.0, for "McCain and Whitman unveil Social Security plan." (Photo by Sam Lessin)

WSJ reporter parties in Cyprus with people she covers

Owen Thomas · 10/09/08 05:00PM

You can never escape the media! Valleywag's favorite hot-tech-company couple, Facebooker Dave Morin and Googler Brittany Bohnet, weren't vacationing in Cyprus alone. A whole group, "Campcyprus," attended the get-together in the Mediterranean island's Turkish-controlled sector. And who was in the in crowd? Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Vascellaro, who covers Facebook and Google, and her startup-founder boyfriend, CEO Sam Lessin, the son of ultrawealthy investment banker Bob Lessin. Sam, who's normally obsessed with privacy, posted this photo of the couple. So cute!And now I know why I got an out-of-office message from her when I complained about her nicking not one but two of my recent stories on Facebook for a Journal article! But I would have been more impressed with Vascellaro's honesty if she had said that she was going to Cyprus with "sources" rather than, as she Twittered, "buddies." Catch Vascellaro's cameo in Bohnet's latest video: Cyprus Lip Dub - Don't Stop Believing from Brittany Bohnet on Vimeo. (Photo by Sam Lessin)

Valley's cutest couple ever creates cutest video ever

Owen Thomas · 10/08/08 09:00PM

Click to viewHoly frack. Is there any couple more adorable than Facebook platform director Dave Morin and his lady love, evangelicious Google Maps marketer Brittany Bohnet? Their employers may be rivals for developers' affections, but this lip-sync video of "All My Life," created on a road-trip through Cyprus, has no competition for the remaining drips of sentiment in my sappy little heart. Will you two crazy kids quit your dead-end jobs and start a company devoted to, I don't know, being the winsomest thing in the world? I'd invest in preferred shares of teary-cheeked admiration, at a valuation of 15 billion awwwws.

Facebook ladies shake it on stage with Thievery Corporation

Nicholas Carlson · 07/25/08 02:20PM

Maybe Facebook's hackathon wasn't an all-nighter like founder Mark Zuckerberg prefers, but that didn't stop Facebook hotties Brandee Barker, Caitlin O'Farrell, Kathleen Loughlin and Raquel DiSabatino from enjoying themselves on stage with Thievery Corporation. Apparently, the crowd enjoyed them on stage too. "So awesome," commented Facebook's Dave Morin, despite being very taken by Google's Brittany Bohnet. Here's what we want to know about the video: Where's Sheryl Sandberg? What, mama don't dance no more? We hear her team insisted she wear jeans to the event, a fashion move the buttoned-up Sandberg almost never makes. But dancing must have been a step too far.

Twitter lets us stalk Facebook's Dave Morin through New York like we're Google's Brittany Bohnet

Nicholas Carlson · 06/02/08 05:40PM

The rift between Google and Facebook has been dug deep by Facebook's executive poachings, ultimate frisbee triumphs and partnership with Microsoft. But across that chasm reaches the love between Googler Brittany Bohnet and Facebook's Dave Morin. While my boss tracked down Bohnet the old-fashioned way at Marissa Mayer's birthday festivities, I kept tabs on my prey, Morin, via Twitter, virtually stalking him on a trip through New York that took him as high as a helicopter over Herald Square and as low as a night out with New York's most notorious gossip.

Photos from Marissa Mayer's "Sex and the City" screening

Owen Thomas · 05/31/08 12:30AM

CENTURY SAN FRANCISCO CENTRE 9 — Where are the girls? An event producer and I both nervously paced through the lobby. Where was Marissa Mayer? The Google executive had rented a theater for the 8:50 screening of Sex and the City, but she and 300 of her closest friends were nowhere to be seen. Late, of course — have you tried to walk the block-long distance between Mayer's Four Seasons penthouse and the Westfield Centre in a pair of Manolo Blahniks? Finally, I spotted someone I knew — gorgeous Googler Brittany Bohnet, girlfriend of Facebooker Dave Morin, above. ("People are saying I look like Charlotte," said Bohnet, pictured above. "Do you think so?" Yes. Cuter than Charlotte, actually.

Politics tangles Facebook-Google daters

Owen Thomas · 02/05/08 06:30PM

Google has found a photogenic spokesperson for its election-tracking effort: Brittany Bohnet. Yes, the same Brittany Bohnet who was, last we checked, dating Facebook evangelist Dave Morin. Yes, the same Facebook which is aggressively pushing its own elections coverage. What's that old rule about never talking work or politics on a date?

A week that calls for a chaser

Owen Thomas · 10/26/07 08:08PM

Would someone please shut down the Valley and lock the doors? I don't know if I can take another week like this. Seriously, can you remember another week filled with such drama? Microsoft showers Facebook with cash, making Mark Zuckerberg a paper billionaire — and turning Facebooker Dave Morin's relationship with a Googler into forbidden fruit. Meanwhile, venture capitalist David Hornik attempts to have an off-the-record conference in Hawaii and completely fails — because gossip will out. Gossip like BusinessWeek's Sarah Lacy throwing a drink at TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington, while his CEO, Heather Harde, stays up suspiciously late with WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg. Yahoo loses a devoted cheerleader and its top marketer. Larry Ellison tries to reel in BEA. Special correspondent Nick Douglas, meanwhile, demands I stop reading all of my favorite sites. I need something. Not a unicorn chaser. How about ....